New York Knicks accused of tampering in blockbuster Mikal Bridges trade by NBA star

Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks made one of the biggest trades of the NBA offseason, swinging a blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets to land Mikal Bridges. Now, an All-Star player for an Eastern Conference rival is making NBA news by accusing the Knicks of tampering.

On Tuesday, the Knicks agreed to a deal sending five first-round picks, a first-round pick swap and Bojan Bogdanovic to Brooklyn in exchange for Bridges. It was a monumental deal that started a discussion about where the Knicks rank among the best NBA teams in 2024.

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While the trade reunites Bridges with Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart, the deal has also sparked allegations of New York breaking NBA rules by tampering.

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo took to social media after the trade, tagging both Hart and Brunson in his post accusing them of tampering to facilitate the Bridges trade.

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  • Mikal Bridges contract: $23.3 million salary (2024-’25), $24.9 million salary (2025-’26), NBA free agent in 2026

It’s certainly possible that Hart and Brunson played a significant role in Bridges being traded. Before the deal was official, Bridges reportedly told the Nets front office that he wanted to play for the Knicks. He even admitted to Brooklyn that he would sign with New York when his contract expired, suggesting they might as well move him now.

Hart and Brunson have been trying to recruit Bridges on social media for years, pushing hard for a reunion of the Villanova core. While those messages and communication behind the scenes certainly played a role in Bridges forcing a trade to the Knicks, the NBA will likely see no reason to investigate.

Even if the NBA did launch a tampering investigation into the Knicks, past penalties for teams found guilty of tampering were the forfeiture of second-round picks. Considering all the second-round picks New York acquired during the 2024 NBA Draft, being stripped of one wouldn’t be a problem even if it happened.

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